crazy work week and background for fiction

So I knew this week was going to be crazy. I was just wrong on the details.
I started the week off knowing that I had to get my GIAC certification done before my second class started on Saturday. The only time I had to review the material, take practise exams and take the actual certification exam was during the work day. Luckily work is paying for the exam and my boss is of the opinion I can manage my own schedule. On Monday I got a little review done. Tuesday I got some more done and stayed a little late to take a practise exam. Did ok on the exam. Wednesday I decided to just go for the actual cert instead of a second round of review and practise exam. Good thing I did too. There is a three hour window to finish the exam and I needed every second. About halfway through the exam I started getting horrible network delays. I would press "submit" for a question and have to wait a minute or longer for the next one to appear. I was not sure if I would get enough answered correctly before that caused me to be behind enough that it was impoissible for me to pass. As it turned out I was able to get enough done to pass before I ran out of time. A huge relief for me. So it is 6:30pm on Wednesday and I open my office door, much to the surprise of several of my coworkers that had no idea I was still in the building. They were running around dealing with a problem with several systems using our SAN. To make that story short, we have been working on that SAN problem since Wednesday late afternoon. It is now Friday evening, approaching 9pm. Two of my coworkers have been here nonstop since this started, one of them my boss. This is sort of computer problem a sysadmin tech person has nightmares about as the SAN contains the data for all of our critical services. And we had to reboot it.
Keep in mind the SAN is actually six different sets of hard drives in two different buildings, designed such that it should never have to be rebooted. And we had to reboot it. Not sure if it worked yet but it is definitely making life interesting.

So I stayed late Wednesday night and did what I can to help out. I am not a server admin so mostly I just made sure the problem was not in the network and opened up a few ports for some different kinds of testing. I have actually been able to go home each night. I woke up really early on Thursday. Long before I was supposed to get up to go in early for some scheduled maintenance that needless to say has not happened. A very vivid and strange dream woke me that morning. Half asleep I tried to understand what I saw in the dream and try to explain to myself how the events could have taken place. As I did this a detailed story was created in my head. The post called "fiction part 1" is an attempt to see if I can get all of these details down on paper and out of my head. I am curious how it will go as I have not done anything like this before. And I had time to get a good start on it as I waited for various things to get done on Thursday. Friday was busy enough that this is the first time I have had to post. And no time to try to get the next segment of the story straightened out enough to post.

Tomorrow is the first day of my 2nd class. It should make for a nice break from these 14 hour days at work. Granted, I might be coming into work after class is done.

Such is life.
be well


fiction part 1

A beat up truck is driving along an empty stretch of road on the less busy side of the airport. The driver is enjoying being the only one on the road this early in the morning, watching the fog and dew settle in the fields at the end of the run way. A large jumbo jet rises above the fog not too far ahead of where he is driving, heading into the low lying clouds. The jets normally graceful path into the sky is marred by a waggle of the wings. The driver chuckles, thinking it must be the pilot having some fun with the passengers and control tower. The waggling does not stop. It starts to get worse as it heads into the low rolling clouds. The plane is actually banking, trying to avoid the clouds. The rolling of the clouds gets worse. Sparks seem to be flying through the clouds. The truck skids over to the side of the road as the plane banks further away from the strange clouds. Sparks are jumping from the clouds to the plane. The rolling clouds are now ripping themselves apart, smaller clouds following the rolling plane in a vortex. The sparks are getting worse, jumping from the small clouds to the plane leaving burn marks across its wings and body. One of the sparks hits an engine causing it to explode. The whole plane shudders as it loses control of the bank away from the cloud cover. It is so low to the ground now it is hitting the tops of trees with its lower wing tip. The driver sees one wing dip below the tree line and then suddenly the whole plane spirals out of sight, throwing the vortex of trailing clouds into chaos. Fire and smoke are visible through the trees, just over a low hill not too far away from the driver. Now the only thing in the air are the small clouds, slowly rising back up to the low lying clouds from where they were when the plane lost control.

The driver does not even think about the clouds as he gets back on the highway and heads toward an access road going roughly in the direction of the downed plane. He scrambles for his cell phone and gives a curse when he sees it has no signal. He just drives through the flimsy gate at the head of the access road, hoping the owner will not mind given the circumstances. As his truck crests the low hill he sees that the access road runs parallel to the path the plane took through the trees. He gets as close as he can to the wreckage and pulls off into the woods. While not very thick, there are still enough trees to stop him from getting too far off of the road. He grabs his cell phone and a crow bar from behind his seat before continuing on foot.


5 mile update

Ok, so I actually ran 5 miles on the treadmill today with a time of 55:30.
To say I am quite pleased with myself is an understatement. My time a year ago was around 1:03:00 or so. I shaved more than a minute of my mile average time and my last two miles were faster than my first two. I also saw a number on the scale I have not seen in many years, 209. Might be a low point, a fluke or some other strange anomally, but I am counting it!

So the Turkey Trot is in a month. And I am looking forward to it. I am really close to the time where they were still giving out pumpkin pies.

Wish me luck.



What is a network weasel?

Network weasels are members of the genus Mustela trained to install network cabling between the BDF (Building Distribution Frame aka "wiring closet") and the end station (aka "wall jack" or "network outlet"). Due to their high intelligence, elongated bodies and agile fore paws they have been found to be particularly successful in navigating the conduits, plenum ceilings and wall cavities. In recent years special accommodations have been made to increase the specifications of the diameter and bending radius of conduit used to provide the cable paths within buildings in order to improve the efficiency of the network weasels. A typical scenario for which a network weasel is used would be as follows: An end user requests a new network connection from the networking group. The networking group notifies the weasel wrangler on call in the weasel pit and informs them of the request. The wrangler selects an appropriate weasel from the pen, puts on the special collar to which one end of the cable and weasel adapted tools are attached. A proprietary method of images and scent markings are used to communicate the requested station location to the weasel and it is then released into the correct conduit path. The weasel wrangler then monitors the tension on the cable spool and amount used to ensure the network weasel does not take a path that exceeds the IETF distance recommendations for the cabling used in that facility. (As a side note, one weasel wrangler can in general monitor up to 10 different weasels actively installing cable. Some notable exceptions have been able to succesfully monitor up to 24. These are the elite weasel wranglers and often are found in the most demanding, and rewarding, environments.) Once the network weasel has navigated the conduits, ceilings and walls to the requested station location as indicated by the scent markings it proceeds to terminate the cable onto the preinstalled jack in the faceplate. It then returns to the wrangler in the weasel pit where the cable is cut from the spool, terminated and connected to the network hardware.

Please note that network weasels are working animals, much like seeinng eye dogs, and as such should not be distracted from their duties by petting or offers of food. Should a network weasel fall through a damaged ceiling tile in your office, do not panic and do not approach the weasel as it will be disoriented and may bite. It is also important to not touch the weasel as the contact might disrupt the weasels scent memory and cause it to perform its duties incorrectly. Please contact your on call weasel wrangler who will safely and correctly return the weasel to its duties. Do not forget to contact your Facilties department to request a new ceiling tile.

If there are any questions about network weasels, please feel free to contact me in the weasel pit.


I guess all that time in college really paid off..

My score on The How Much You Know About Women Test:


A Femme Fatale!
(You scored 95% !!)

"Da-Yum! You must BE a woman! Good job!"


Take it!
I am not sure how to think about this result.
I wonder if they count my Pez dispenser collection as "action figures"?

You can thank Taokodr for this one!

You are 38% white and nerdy.
How White and Nerdy Are You?